The campaign is the trio's latest strategic move to grab a larger portion of the business of operating online marketplaces, which link buyers and sellers through a common system. These exchanges are established to help companies save time and money by streamlining administrative processes.
Using ad slogans like "It's b2bx3" and "What a great location for an e-marketplace," the campaign kicks off today with two-page advertisements in major U.S. newspapers, IBM said.
IBM, i2 and Ariba created their alliance in March. IBM has taken an equity stake in both i2 and Ariba.
According to AMR Research, the alliance runs more than 200 online marketplaces worldwide, out of a total of 800 marketplaces that have been created this year.
AMR estimates online marketplaces worldwide will handle almost $3 trillion in sales by 2004.
Competing against two other major business-to-business providers--Oracle and an alliance between Commerce One and SAP--the IBM-led group is working to build marketplaces for industries such as aerospace, construction, retail and chemical.
Irving, Texas-based i2 provides software that helps companies coordinate purchase and delivery of supplies. Ariba, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., provides software that automates the process of buying and selling goods online.
IBM marketing vice president John Kahan said the campaign is a new program that is separate from the $660 million that IBM already spends on e-business advertising annually.
The three companies will spend $50 million on Web sites, direct marketing, special events and billboards in key geographic areas such as New York, the company said. Another $40 million will be spent on a print campaign launched today in national newspapers.